Assassin’s Creed

You watch him from afar, memorize his every action, and hear his every word. Until its time to strike. You walk towards him slowly, gently pushing past people and then you pounce, he falls and you’ve just assassinated your next victim.

Assassin’s Creed, one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Ubisoft certainly have done well with this masterpiece.

Assassin’s Creed is set in 1191 AD across various cities including Jerusalem, Damascus and Masyaf. The Holy Land is being torn apart by the Third Crusade. You play Altair, a highly experienced but dangerously over-confident Assassin. It’s your goal to suppress both sides from hostilities. As the game starts you engage in some basic tutorials of the game’s controls then find yourself in a temple. In this temple, everything possible goes wrong and your allies are murdered because of your actions. Your master then strips you of your rank as you have broken the Assassin’s rules and you have to start from the very beginning of your career as an Assassin. To redeem yourself, your master sets you 9 tasks. These tasks however are the assassinations of 9 important men. From there, your journey begins……
There is also a storyline concerning a futuristic side of the game. Bartender Desmond Miles is kidnapped by 2 scientists and brought to their lab. Where he is placed on an ‘Animus’ which lets him travel back in time to 1191 AD as his ancestor, Altair……

Altair’s main mission is to assassinate the 9 men by any means possible so you’ll find yourself interrogating, pick pocketing and eavesdropping into their followers’ conversations to find out their location. Once you have all the information you require you will need to go to the Assassin’s Bureau to report to your ally. He will then give you a feather to smear your victim’s blood on, probably for proof he is dead. Your then off to go and assassinate your victim, you can do this stealthily or disruptively whichever you prefer. Then the whole cities’ guards are on you, so you have to get out of there quick and make it back to the Bureau to report the death.
But there are of course, side missions for you to complete if you want. These include saving citizens (which can be greatly rewarding), collecting flags, killing all the templars and climbing to the top of all the viewpoints. Saving the citizens and climbing up to a viewpoint can help greatly in your future assignments as the viewpoints allow you to see the positions of potential hiding places and enemies. As saving citizens can earn you 2 things:
• Scholars: These guys have access to all areas of the city so if you blend in with them, so do you.
• Vigilante: These guys on the other hand will block any of your pursuers’ paths so run towards them if you want a quick escape.

Onto the controls, these are interesting and easy to learn. Each body part is mapped to a button, for example Y controls your head and A your legs. Actions are also split into 2 types, High or Low profile. High profile moves are things like sprinting, jumping and basically moves that make you stand out and can attract unwanted attention to yourself. Low profile moves are more socially acceptable like walking, gently pushing people out of your way and blending. Now, blending is when you hide in a group of Scholars from guards making you invisible to them.
Your main transport is your horse, which has very similar controls to Altair. Also using High and Low profile actions.

Gameplay is great with Assassin’s Creed and choice plays a huge part in this game. Hiding is also an important part of this game as you’ll be getting chased a fair amount. Places you can hide include rooftop gardens, sitting on benches and hiding in haystacks. One of the best parts of this game is the free-running aspect. Scaling the historic buildings and leaping across rooftops is just so entertaining. You have to pay attention to the details on the building however as they have to have a ledge, window or basically something that sticks out of them to be climbable. The game is however interrupted frequently by technological interruptions which remind you of the futuristic side of things.

Now for the combat, one of the most important parts of Assassin’s Creed. Altair has 4 weapons for combat, his fists, a short blade, a sword and throwing knifes. In combat he can also dodge, counter-grab and attack and deflect. These are essential in his survival as an Assassin. The fighting is more realistic than some other games and the counter-attack scenes are quite entertaining. You can also use your sword on horseback and swing to the left and right.
There is also a Synchronisation Bar which is really your health. This tells you how in tune you are to your ancestors. This can be gained by completing objectives and staying anonymous. But can be lost by killing innocent people, falling from great heights and when you’re harmed in combat.
Computer controlled enemies are also done well and do things like patrol and talk to each other. There are 3 different stages for guards’ alertness:
• Unaware- The guard has no idea of your presence.
• Suspicious- The guard knows something’s not right.
• Aware- The guard knows of your presence and will attack.

The graphics of Assassin’s Creed could compete with any gaming title out there as the game is richly detailed. The surrounding area is spectacular and characters are amazingly detailed from head to toe. This is one of the most visually stunning games I have ever seen, it makes you feel as if your actually there! This game definitely has taken advantage of the technology available to Xbox 360 games.

The audio in the game is also very impressive. Assassin’s Creed’s sounds are all amazingly realistic and sound great. Everything has a sound to it, my favourite being the unsheathing of your sword. The horse’s hooves against the ground and the clanging of swords make this game’s sound even better. If you’re high up in buildings you can only hear the faint sounds of an eagle in the distance but if you’re down in the bustle of the city you can hear many things. The music of the game also adapts depending on the situation your in. The music will be fast paced if you’re being chased or fighting but slow paced if you’re simply walking around. Altair’s voice is cold so it really adds to his bold character. There are many other people around so many other voices to be heard, most of which have a unique sound.







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